Hot dogs have been fixtures in baseball games for over a century now. Even today, when
baseball stadiums and sporting events offer sophisticated food menus that rival that of any
restaurant, the hot dog still remains the most popular choice for many attendees.
This might be largely attributed to the tradition, but how exactly did this come to be in the first place? In this article, we’ll provide the answer to that question. Here, we’ll walk you through a bit of a history lesson as we explore the connection between hot dogs and baseball. Let’s dive right
Early origins of the hot dog
Let’s go back in time to when it all started—and by going back, we mean way back. The earliest
accounts of food that resemble the modern-day hot dog date back to ancient times, as early as
the 9th century B.C. We can only imagine what those early peoples might have called hot dogs
then, but we can deduce that they were probably delicious.
That’s because centuries later, hot dogs (or whatever they were called then) were still being made, and it was only in the 1200s that the most notable incarnation of the dish was finally born in Germany. This version was called a frankfurter—named after the German city of Frankfurt
where it was first prepared—and it consisted of ground pork stuffed inside an animal casing.
Soon after, many other versions of the dish became popular around Europe—giving way to all
manner of different wieners and sausages with different kinds of stuffing and casings.
Arriving in America
Like many beloved foods, the hot dog circulated trading routes between nations and eventually found its way to American shores. As you might have expected, it was brought over by German immigrants in the 1800s who enjoyed the dish as an economical source of food. During the process, however, the hot dog was elevated to new culinary heights.
It soon met its perfect match—a warm roll of bread that made the entire dish more satisfying and easier to eat. The true originators of this idea are widely debated, but the results of it remain the same: a tasty and filling meal that could be eaten without the need for utensils. It was a
recipe for success, one that proved to be the key to the hot dog’s popularity today.
Baseball + hot dogs = perfection
It’s believed that a German entrepreneur named Chris Von de Ahe was the first to sell hot dogs at ballparks. Some people contest this and claim that other people are to thank for the combination. Whatever the case, we’re just happy that it happened!
Because they comprised a full meal and were easy to prepare, keep warm, and pass around,
hot dogs became the preferred snack of baseball fans and players alike. Spectators could watch
their favorite sport with a hot meal in tow, and players could chow down on a couple of dogs in between games. It was a match made in heaven, and thus, the tradition was born.
Today, baseball and hot dogs are so heavily intertwined that some stadiums even offer their own signature hot dogs. Looking to the future, we can’t say for sure what lies in store for the hot dog, but we’re definitely eager to wait and see!
If you’d like to try our version of the hot dog inspired by the Chicago-style way of preparing
them, visit us at George’s Gyros Spot in Chesterton, Indiana and treat yourself to our one-of-a-
kind hot dogs!